Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Jose Lalas, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Carol Franklin, Ed.D.

Michael Shamblin, Ed.D.


social sciences; education; funds of knowledge; Hispanic/Latino; social capital; student engagement; working class


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Leadership | Secondary Education


This qualitative study employed narrative inquiry methodology to study funds of knowledge of working-class Latino students. This study involved the construction of personal narratives based on written and oral responses from participants. Participants included ten Latino students, five parents of Latino students, and five teachers of Latino students. The participants were all drawn from one high school in a working class community of Southern California with a high population of Latino families. Interviews consisting of six open-ended questions were conducted with parents and teachers. Student participants completed Photovoice journals in which they addressed people, places, things, and situations that affect their learning. Additional data was gathered from documents such as teachers' lesson plans, maps of local demographics, and field notes taken by the researcher during interviews and class discussions. Findings showed that all students' funds of knowledge consisted of relationships with family and friends, skills related to communication, and skills related to decision-making. These were evident in students' writing by the choices of topics included in journals, emphasis of relationships with important people, and details given about networks of support for success in school. These ideas were also emphasized in parent interviews, indicating close relationships with parents and children. Another finding was that most teachers did not have positive opinions of students' academic support at home. All parents and teachers had a positive view of the school, but the interpretation of students' funds of knowledge was not consistent. Parents valued the relationships and positive influence of siblings and relatives as well as their children's ability to communicate. Teachers seemed to overlook some of these funds of knowledge and tended to focus on more specific instances of school preparation and negative peer influences. Overall, funds of knowledge relied on interactions and relationships. Some conclusions drawn from this study are that teachers may have a limited understanding of students' resources and family values that could be valuable assets to learning. Teachers who have firsthand experience with the school community in their personal lives had a perspective that more closely matched that of parents. Recommendations were made for implementing funds of knowledge, which included implementing aspects of home life and family dynamics into elements of classroom lessons.


© 2012 Angela Jo Ann Macias

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781267855084